Volcanos In The North for Aspex Gallery Make! Believe! Make! exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum.
The exhibition was a joint exhibition venture between Aspex Gallery and Portsmouth City Museum, showcasing inventive uses of material and the process used within making contemporary craft.The show asked visitors to consider What drives us as humans to innovate, create and make?
Nine contemporary craft artists were asked expose their making process in order to spark a conversation about how the methods of making have developed. In doing so, each artist presented a story, a beginning, a middle and an end. Presenting an Insight in to where inspiration comes from, why they make and how.
Volcano’s in the north, explores romantic associations with Voyages of discovery and perils of the sea. Rowe presents a series of new ceramic works displayed within a scenographic installation.Keith Grants painting ‘The Volcano In The North’ provides the backdrop to the installation with Rowe’s ceramic and video works Interlacing selected artefacts from Portsmouth city museum with his own. Rowes selection gathers together objects that depict, commemorate and replicate wonders of the nautical realm. Rowes installation embraces the theatrical nature of museum display, attempting to blur the line between historical evidence and fictional narrative, Suggesting an imagined subterranean landscape that lurks beneath the waves.
Following on from the tradition of depicting the ‘sublime’ in landscape painting, ‘Volcanos In The North’ records and presents elemental aspects of ceramic process, considering how a potters art simulates the sublime power of nature.Though mastery of there surroundings, a potter, cultivates raw earth and heat to achieve the alchemical transformation of clay to ceramic. Rowe’s Video works captures spectacular but often overlooked facets of ceramic process, from diverse spectrum of colour produced when firing ceramics in the kiln to the centrifugal pull of the potters wheel.
Rowe’s ceramic forms respond to the museum collections various depictions of volcanic landscapes and Henry Guermonprez’s field sketches of marine life. The ceramic sculptures have been crafted using slip trailing techniques over manipulated and constructed wheel thrown forms. Further surface treatments are applied to the forms these include micro crystalline and volcanic glazes.The accompanying photographic portrait ‘Salvation’ is symbolic of Portsmouth’s rich maritime heritage and the city’s contribution to developments in underwater salvage and marine exploration.